#Elderberry has been used in folk medicine for centuries to treat #influenza, colds and #sinusitis, and has been reported to have antiviral activity against influenza and herpes simplex. We investigated the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry syrup for treating influenza A and B infections.
Sixty patients (aged 18-54 years) suffering from influenza-like symptoms for 48 h or less were enrolled in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study during the influenza season of 1999-2000 in Norway. Patients received 15 ml of elderberry or placebo syrup four times a day for 5 days, and recorded their symptoms using a visual analogue scale. Symptoms were relieved on average 4 days earlier and use of rescue medication was significantly less in those receiving elderberry extract compared with placebo. Elderberry extract seems to offer an efficient, safe and cost-effective treatment for influenza. These findings need to be confirmed in a larger study.
The Claim: The deep purple, almost black berries from the elder tree can shorten the duration of #colds and flus, and help boost the #immune system.
The Verdict: Elderberry extracts have antiviral activity in the laboratory and there is preliminary evidence that the berry can shorten the duration of #flu symptoms.
Sambucus nigra L. extracted into a product named - Sambucol - are based on a standardized black elderberry extract. They are natural remedies with antiviral properties, especially against different strains of influenza virus.
Sambucol was shown to be effective in vitro against 10 strains of influenza virus. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study, Sambucol reduced the duration of flu symptoms to 3-4 days. Convalescent phase serum showed a higher antibody level to influenza virus in the Sambucol group, than in the control group.